To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
|Pennybaker School is headed for disaster|
Author: Brown, Jennifer
[First book] Thomas Fallgrout is a new student at Pennybaker Academy for the Uniquely Gifted where he is blamed for a missing statue so he teams up with his oddball friend Chip Mason to find it.
Pennybaker School, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 197343
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/17)
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 Gr 4–7—Pennybaker Hill Academy accepts students with unique gifts. Sixth grader Thomas Fallgrout enrolls because of his genius basement chemistry and magic tricks. Upon arrival, Thomas is surprised that the students revere a statue of math teacher Helen Heirmauser. He feels their unilateral admiration is misplaced and old-fashioned. When someone steals the statue's head, everyone blames Thomas. Loathed by his new friends Wes and Owen, Thomas becomes isolated when even his parents and Grandma Jo think he is the thief. Thomas reluctantly colludes with his quirky neighbor Chip Mason, a boy with socks for every occasion, to find the real culprit. As the novel begins, Brown limns Thomas in first-person monologue with gross and wacky thoughts about history, science, and his life. Thomas exists in slight contrast to socially clueless Chip and is a pained witness to his mother's juvenile arguments with Grandma Jo. The story takes a serious turn when the school brands Thomas a thief. Gradually, he loses his entire support system, and his despair and sadness seem frighteningly real, most so when none of the adults in his life believe him. Forced to befriend Chip, Thomas learns to deconstruct the other boy's behaviors and becomes more empathetic. This seemingly light book includes a thoughtful look at judgment and friendship. VERDICT A comedic intro twists into a nuanced exploration of character, with a detailed mystery. Give to readers who liked R.J. Palacio's Wonder.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2017 Pennybaker Hill Academy for the Uniquely Gifted might be a good fit for some kids, but Thomas isn’t sure he is especially gifted at performing magic tricks, and besides, his public middle school was at least familiar. Still, wearing the scratchy Pennybaker uniform (suit, vest, and bow tie), he enters the academy, establishes himself as a spitball sharpshooter, and quickly makes friends. When a statue—the beloved bust of a revered teacher—disappears and suspicion falls on Thomas, even his parents think he’s guilty. He and his dorky neighbor work to find the sculpture and clear his name. There’s plenty going on here, from the never-entirely-convincing veneration of the bust to an intergenerational subplot in which Thomas’ mother tries to curtail his feisty grandmother’s pursuit of skateboarding thrills, but it all ties together in the end. And while the exaggeration in Thomas’ first-person narrative may undermine his credibility from time to time, it also makes the story amusing for readers who enjoy Brown’s offbeat humor. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.